Nintendo is at a crossroads. Is the NX leading to massive success or utter ruin?
Here’s a loaded question for you: what’s the one thing that the Nintendo NX absolutely needs in order to be a success? We’re looking past the obvious answers like “great games,” and “tons of sales.” I’d like to know the one feature, philosophy, or decision that you think will drive Nintendo forward during the NX era. We still have no idea what this console is going to be, but we do know that 2017 will be one of the most important years in Nintendo’s history, and will be absolutely formative as it goes forward.
Nintendo is at a really interesting crossroads right now. On one hand, more people than ever are talking about Nintendo due to the tremendous success of Pokemon Go and the recent announcement of the NES Mini. The latter has proven that everyone is still sick with nostalgia and craving Nintendo experiences that they haven’t enjoyed since they were 90s kids. Amiibo and Amiibo NFC cards are still selling quite well. 3DS sales remain consistently strong (with software following suit), and Nintendo is poised to make a triumphant entry into the mobile market with Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem mobile games on the way.
That all spells success, but on the other hand, Nintendo’s last home console didn’t do well at all. The Wii U was a commercial failure, and Nintendo didn’t seem very willing to spend the money to market the poor thing. No one except the more dedicated Nintendo fans even knew that the Wii U existed. The same can’t be said for the NX, however. There is a ton of buzz surrounding Nintendo’s next game console, but the majority of that chatter is speculative, and a lot of that hype has been generated by Nintendo’s silence and the mystery of it all. If this next console fails financially, Nintendo could very well take a step back and devote itself to making software like Sega did after the failure of the Dreamcast. Nintendo’s hardware prowess may be less than inspiring, but its games are as popular and recognizable as ever. 2017 is the year of the NX, and its success or failure determines Nintendo’s future.
[fvplayer src=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQYqad6ReqI” width=”560″ height=”315″]
So what does the NX need to succeed?
I’d like to hear from you guys. As for me, I think the NX needs a great sense of unity in order to succeed, and that unity is going to come from two different features. The first feature is what I like to call “omni-compatibility.” Screw backward compatibility, I want the NX to play every Nintendo game ever. If this truly is a console / handheld combo, then imagine how incredible it would be to be able to play not only NX games and all of the latest third-party offerings, but also Wii U, 3DS, DS, Game Boy Advance, Wii, Game Cube, N64, and SNES games… and beyond! Through adaptive cartridges, streaming technology, and an expanded Virtual Console library, I really do think this could be possible, and I think Nintendo would make obscene amounts of money from fans going back to purchase older games that they never got to play.
The second feature is something that I don’t expect to see, but I really hope to be surprised. I’d love for Nintendo to move forward with a comprehensive, robust, fully-featured online service in the same vein as Xbox Live and PSN. This is something that Nintendo has been missing for a long time. Miiverse is a quaint offering, but it’s no substitute for voice chat, party systems, decent friends lists. We need a seamless platform for sharing our experiences and playing together. Nintendo needs to be more open and more social so its fanbase doesn’t feel so isolated. Being able to livestream and capture footage from the console would also be amazing, but I won’t hold my breath; Nintendo loves to keep its IPs off of YouTube for some reason.
So a comprehensive catalog of every Nintendo game at my fingertips, and a completely revamped online experience… Is that so much to ask? It is, but I believe this is what the NX needs to succeed. Nintendo needs to focus on making its consoles desirable again. Not since the days of the SNES and N64 has Nintendo sold a “must own” console, and I’d love for them to take advantage of their recent momentum and blow us all away with truly revolutionary hardware. What about you, fellow 90s kids? Chime in below or drop us a line on our YouTube channel, and let me know what you think the NX needs in order to champion a true comeback for Nintendo.